I will go with the Zeiss Ikon any day in my view. If you are lusting for that, may as well save up for it. Instead of spending on so many cameras and at the end, regretting some of your purchases. Get the one which you are most comfortable with, and that you will not feel insecure to take out and abuse too. That is how you get photos which are most compelling. I remember getting a minty M6 once, but I never used it. I was too afraid of scratching it more than the R3a I bought after it. At the end, I sold the M6 and invested in a medium format set up in the P6.
In short, make a decision and quit thinking about it for way too long. Get the camera and start shooting.
And yes, I have heard of several Leica owners (particularly the M4 and M6) who never got to take their cameras out for shooting just because they don't want to dirty it. Kind of paradoxical, since the whole point of getting a Leica is to shoot life even more, ha ha. Maybe that's the appeal of cheaper RFs like the Bessa since you don't feel so much pain if it ever get's dented, and should be relatively cheaper to repair.
Photo of my previous M6 months after purchasing it mint.
But seriously, your M6 had brassing and a shutter issue after only a year of usage? Oh man......no wonder several M6 owners I know personally do not carry these things out. If it breaks, there's no telling how it's going to get fixed.
Yup very cheap. So that the buyer will still have an extra bucks for a CLA.
If you really want a value M mount body, I always recommend the Leitz Minolta CL or Leica CL. You could probably pick one up in decent condition off eBay around RM1500 to RM2500 and this comes with the sharp Summicron-M 40mm f2. Can't beat that price really and it's the smallest Leica M body you'll ever find. Still isn't the easiest of Leicas to load but it's better than the regular M2/3/4s
Imo, the Bessa is a brilliant camera for the money. But a Leica will always win in terms of pure feel and desirability. I've been through a Bessa (for a day), a ZI, a Hexar RF...
1) Bessa R2A - Excellent camera overall. Decent viewfinder but flares a bit. Dislike the manual frame selection. Felt very reliable and solid.
2) Hexar RF - A camera I would own if I didn't have a Leica. Excellent in every manner, but lacked a film advance lever - deal breaker.
3) Zeiss Ikon ZM - Best RF viewfinder out there (though you have to center your eye while viewing through it), but overall it felt flimsy. Great handling but I didn't think much of it. I prefer the Bessa for the money.
Eventually I settled for the Leica because it simply feels better as a camera. Holds their value better too. Lens-wise I think the current Voigtlander offerings are plenty good.
I have to face the fact that the Ikon will have to wait for now. A bit surprised that you reported that it had a flimsy feel to it, because it felt superb in my hands. What I do agree, is that the R2 and R3s felt very good for it's asking price. I am gunning for the R3M ever since I had an encounter with it's OVF. It's the biggest I have ever seen, much bigger than even the Ikon and R2 for sure. Only issue now is the lens. You ever had any experience with M-Hexanons?
There are still some very good an affordable rangefinders in the market. e.g. Yashica Minister-D, Yashica-J, Yashica Electro 35 (These are really cheap), Fujica V2. If you must have interchangeable lens the Canon-P is also an excellent rangefinder. Even the Zorki C is a pretty cheap and decent rangefinder.
I also have no issues importing lenses, because every single film gear I have are bought through eBay. Touch wood, no issues at time of writing. Tried looking for an affordable Summicron, no luck. But no worries as I've always been a quiet fan of Zeiss stuff, ha ha.
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